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Moving house- how big a difference between outstanding and good?

(22 Posts)
Wishfulmakeupping Sun 19-May-13 14:53:21

Hi moving to what will hopefully be our long term family home we need more space so have to move (can't afford extension), dd is only a little baby at the mo but thinking about the primary school she would be going to.
Our options would be stay in the village we're in outstanding school, family go there so know its a good school. Or we could get more for our money and move to villages nearby with a good rating but haven't visiting them so don't know much except what's on websites.

Question is- is there a massive difference between outstanding and good schools?

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 19-May-13 14:54:10

Meant to put ofsted in the title hopefully people will realise what I'm whittering on about! smile

Bossybritches22 Sun 19-May-13 15:05:42

Not really- if the OFSTED inspecor likes the school (IMHO) or takes against something they do /don't do it can drop the grade out of proportion to the schools actual daily performance. It can take just one good grade in one area where others are all outstanding to bring the overall result down to good.

I have been involved with several inspections over the years (Early Years and Primary) and although they all are supposed to sing from the same hymn sheet they rarely do.

Go & visit the other primary, talk to the staff, get the feel of the place, if it feels right for your child then go with that along with the reports not just on ratings.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 19-May-13 15:07:20

Was thinking about visiting would that look a bit strange given dd is only 15 weeks?! But as its such a big decision to make think I really need to!

Ragusa Sun 19-May-13 15:17:44

I'm not sure there is much point visiting 4 years in advance - schools can change a lot in a short time.

I think ofsted.not terribly meaningful.

ChimeForChange Sun 19-May-13 15:24:10

Agree with Ragusa

ANYTHING can happen in the next 4 years!

An outstanding school now will not necessarily be outstanding in 4 years and vice versa

Pick your family home based on what will suit the whole family's needs long-term

tiggytape Sun 19-May-13 15:27:00

It isn't so much the Ofsted rating as the time frame. The outstanding school could get a new Head next year and go downhill fast. The 'good' school could have been inspected 3 years ago and get an 'outstanding' on its next inspection.

Ofsted is useful (more the written content than the grade) and tells you a lot about a school but it has its limitations and one of those is that the report is out of date fairly soon after it is written.

To be honest - whichever decision you take, you will be relying on luck to some degree - unless you put off moving house until 9 months before applying for a school, you really won't have any idea what either school will be like so far in advance.

heggiehog Sun 19-May-13 15:39:03

Ofsted doesn't mean anything.

tiggytape Sun 19-May-13 15:47:27

That's right heggie - nothing at all. All those schools where Ofsted go in and find books not being marked, children not making progress, high rates of staff turnover and ineffective leadership - they just make all that stuff up. Schools are all wonderful and, more importantly, as equally wonderful as each other hmm

Pyrrah Sun 19-May-13 18:36:55

Ofsted is useful but not on it's own. The data break-down on low, average and high achievers is very useful, and above all a visit to the school.

After visiting 5 schools - 4 Outstanding and 1 Needs Improvement, I put the NI as my 3rd choice and seriously considered it as 2nd choice (knowing that unlikely to get 1st choice).

tiggytape Sun 19-May-13 19:11:37

That is very true - it is useful as part of the overall picture but certainly not 4 or 5 years in advance. Whilst some of it's findings or methods are debated or unpopular, it does offer insights for parents that would not be available in any other way. Therefore, whilst it shouldn't form the main basis of any decision, it is perfectly reasonable to pay it some heed - especially the written element of the reports.

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 19:20:54

I really wouldn't make a decision like that on an OFSTED report - they are laughable. Anyone who knows several schools well would never "rank" them in the same way as OFSTED, who are so random, and so narrowly focused on something that might not even be the most important thing for you.
Whereas I agree that schools can change before your LO will start, I think the school would understand that where you buy your next family home is going to be influenced by a school's reputation and would be happy to show you around.
All other things being equal (childcare around school hours, etc?) I would certainly go for the village where you get more house for your money.

cansu Sun 19-May-13 19:31:44

Sorry it is ridiculous to look around schools four years in advance. Staff will not be happy to show you round on this basis. it is really silly. Unless you are considering moving to a hellish neighbourhood, the school issue is a non issue. You have already said both schools have good ofsteds currently. That could change anyway. You don't know what sort of school will suit your dd as she is only 15 weeks old! Really this is one of the most mad threads I have read in a while.

my2bundles Sun 19-May-13 20:52:03

Agree with the others, school change all the time, my sons school was good before he was born, the year after he was born it was special measures, now he is there in his recpetion year it is the best school in the area. Also there is no guarantee you will get your first choice school. My advice is buy a house where you feel comfortable, school decision/choice or lack of is a long way of.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 19-May-13 21:09:33

cansu you're post made me laugh you sound like my family they all think I've lost the plot but I'm a planner ;)

MammaMedusa Sun 19-May-13 21:13:03

The school my children go to has been good, satisfactory, good, outstanding in the time they have been there. The most recent was outstanding in all categories. For my children, it has been absolutely the right school for them and they have blossomed. I can see why some of the rankings changed, but really the school has been great for them throughout.

ReallyTired Sun 19-May-13 21:13:42

OFSTED ratings go up and down, depending on staff changes or who is in power. Our children's school was good with outstanding features three years ago. Its now inadequate. (Now that our lovely old head has left, my son thinks the school is inadequate with crap features.)

redskyatnight Mon 20-May-13 08:41:13

4 years ago, my DD's school was rated "good with outstanding features".

2 years ago it was rated "satisfactory".

Today it is rated "good".

My own view of the school (having had children in it) is that the school has consistently improved over the time my DC have been there.

I couldn't have based a moving house decision on that.

Bossybritches22 Tue 21-May-13 17:15:12

Oh blimey didn't clock DD is so small!!

In that case no, get the biggest house you can afford, to grow into and build as a family home.

TBH you could end up taking her to the school in your old village anyway for many other reasons when it comes to it, so many things can change.

School is part of the reason for choosing an area but look at loads of others too, is there a nice park/ somewhere to walk to easily. Is there a thriving community hub, a pub or village hall, shop (s) ?

If they have one get a copy of the village magazine they can tell you loads about whats going on.

runningincircles Wed 22-May-13 11:06:49

ReallyTired I love your son's rating "inadequate with crap features" [big grin]. I think how the parents and children rate the school, is much more relevant and accurate than an Ofsted rating.

ReallyTired Wed 22-May-13 13:43:46

My son's school went down hill when the old head left. The LEA have step in and its now improving rapidly.

Schools go up and down. Talking to parents is the way of assessing a school.

zingally Wed 05-Jun-13 20:17:12

On a day to day basis, in a way that might impact upon your child, absolutely none.

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